Longtime UFC lightweight contender Clay Guida (29-13 MMA, 9-7 UFC) is headed to a new weight class.
The fighter has opted for a drop to the 145-pound featherweight division, his representatives from VFD Sports Marketing today announced.
A debut date and opponent have not been confirmed for his UFC debut in the division, but a rep told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) it'll likely come after the new year.
Guida's drop comes after a rough stretch for the 30-year-old fan favorite. After winning four straight fights, which included victories over notables Takanori Gomi and Anthony Pettis, he lost a title-eliminator bout with Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 1 back in November. Then in June, he suffered a narrow split-decision loss to former title challenger Gray Maynard in a UFC on FX 4 headliner.
Guida brings a high-energy, crowd-pleasing style to a division currently ruled by injured featherweight champion Jose Aldo. In fact, another former lightweight, Frankie Edgar, also recently dropped to featherweight and was scheduled to fight Aldo at UFC 153 before the champ's injury but the title fight on hold.
Guida, an early Strikeforce champiom, signed with the UFC in 2006. He's racked up five "Fight of the Night" bonuses and two "Submission of the Night" awards.
In addition to Gomi and Pettis, he owns victories over the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Nate Diaz, Mac Danzig and Josh Thomson.